CANVASS 44: Finding My Voice and Saying It Loud


American Wants Obama by Onjena

Rosie the Renegade Says It Loud by Onjena


Say It Loud by Onjena

“All this talk about “founding fathers” and the building of America by hard work without handouts…

This country is great because it was built on the backs of slaves. What better handout than to start your businesses with free labor.”

~ Grey Williamson

Daaaaaaaaaaamn… talking about ALL of our history, even the ugly parts, does not make me unpatriotic. I am proud of our country and of our President. No apologies.

Download, share, repost… speak up…vote!

~ Onjena

#sayitLOUD #registertoVOTE #neverforget #spreadLOVE

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CANVASS 44: Barack Black Eagle: He Who Helps People Throughout the Land by Bunky Echo-Hawk

“Barack Black Eagle: He Who Helps People Throughout the Land”

Artist Bunky Echo-Hawk painted this piece live at the Native Nations: Uniting for Change event during the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

Earlier in the year, Huffingtonpost featured this painting with about 10 other pieces describing the works as “bizarre.” Hmmm… “bizarre” or simply misunderstood? The “re-imagination” of popular figures, whether historical or fictional, is actually not that bizarre…

Take a look at the varied representations of Jesus… brunette…blonde… brown eyes… blue eyes… wooly hair… flowing locks… “swarthy”… white skin… If you ask most people what the founder of Buddhism looks like, most would describe a smiling jolly and bald Chinese man.

And no, this “bizarre” phenomenon is not limited to religious figures… Have you seen an American movie in the past few years or, oh wait, since Hollywood began producing movies, be it original or remakes? Ironically, the most recent “backlash” against the “re-imagination” of a character was aimed at a young character named “Rue” in “The Hunger Games.” (FYI. It wasn’t Rue’s characterization that was wrong, but the imagination of many of the viewers/readers…).

I can feel the eyes roll… How fitting that I reference religious figures and Hollywood when Obama has been “accused” of being a fake messiah and a “celebrity.”

What I see is positive change… a shift in deep-rooted underlying assumptions that are being challenged more frequently and by many different voices. I read an article in February about the “Linsanity” phenomenom by Yellow Peril that described Jeremy Lin as an “Asian Obama.” Robert Deniro recently came under fire for a joke about it being too soon for a “White First Lady.”

Thank you Bunky Echo-Hawk, for sharing your perspective on how our heroes can capture our collective imaginations…

Bizarre? No. Assumptions challenged. Yes.

And what exactly is “flesh-colored” anyway…?

Proceeds from the sale of Barack Black Eagle prints will be shared with Organizing for America and NVision. NVision is a movement  that is “committed to the development of Native youth leadership and traditional and contemporary expressions of art, culture, education, and media from a Native core and perspective.”

Thanks for reading!

~ Onjena

#sayitLOUD #registertovote #neverforget #spreadLOVE

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Bunky Echo-Hawk is a multi-talented artist whose work spans both media and lifestyle.  A  graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts,  he is a fine artist, graphic designer, photographer, writer and a non-profit professional.  He is  also a traditional singer and dancer. Throughout his career, Bunky has merged traditional values with his lifestyle and art.

He has exhibited his work in major exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally in NYC, Chicago, Denver, Santa Fe, and Frank- furt, Germany, to name a few. His poetry has been published in magazines and anthologies throughout the country, and his plays have been performed and produced across the nation. Bunky is also an advocate and an educator. He travels extensively, creating live works of art for auction.

Through his art, Bunky has raised thousands of dollars for several national non-profit organizations. Additionally, he speaks at conferences, conducts workshops, and teaches both art and writing. In 2006, Bunky co-founded NVision, serving as Executive Director until 2009. NVision is a nonprofit collective of Native American artists, musicians, community organizers, and nonprofit professionals who focus on Native American youth empowerment through multimedia arts. Bunky is a 2008 First Peoples Fund Business in Leadership Fellow, a 2008 United States Artist Fellow nominee, a 2008 Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellow nominee, and a 2008 Boulder County Multicultural Award recipient.

CANVASS 44: Obama to Ali: You Shocked the World : Say It Loud

When asked by sports journalist George Plimpton,”What would you like people to think about you when you’ve gone?”, Ali responded:

“I’d like for them to say he took a few cups of love, he took one tablespoon of patience, teaspoon of generosity, one pint of kindness. He took one quart of laughter, one pinch of concern, and then, he mixed willlingness with happiness, he added lots of faith, and he stirred it up well, then he spread it over his span of a lifetime, and he served it to each and every deserving person he met.”

~ Muhammad Ali

Grey Williamson cites Muhammad Ali as an inspiration for the pose of his Renegade Obama bust… a fighter’s stance.

This concept graphic was created by onjena, Kilroy III and Grey Williamson.

Who hasn’t been inspired by Muhammad Ali? A fighter in the ring and for all of humanity.

To support Ali’s legacy of respect, confidence, conviction, dedication, charity and spirituality, please visit The Muhammad Ali Center. Located in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, the Center pays tribute to The Champ’s legacy.

To support President Obama, please visit Organizing for America.

Thanks for reading!

~ Onjena

#sayitLOUD #registertovote #spreadLOVE

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Grey Williamson has worked as a writer, artist and designer for almost every major comic publisher in the comic industry. He formed Carbon-Fibre Media as a home for his entertainment properties and productions.

Kilroy III makes his professional debut at Carbon-Fibre Media with his work on the Apollo, Val-Mar and Renegade busts. He has multiple projects under development that can be viewed on his blog, Kilroy’s Attic.  

Onjena makes her professional debut at Carbon-Fibre Media with her line of toy robots called “O’BOTS” and a line of political t-shirts for CANVASS 44. She is also an amateur scrapbooker.

CANVASS 44: Excerpts from an “INSIDE LOOK: Grey Williamson and the Making of the Renegade Obama Bust”

CARBON-FIBRE MEDIA (CFM): WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO DO A BUST OF PRESIDENT OBAMA?

GREY WILLIAMSON: After Barack Obama became President, it started. I watched as an unprecedented attempt at dehumanization took place with no respect for the man or the office that he held. I had seen these types of attacks before… I knew what they felt like.

History revealed that neither Malcolm X nor MLK had aspirations toward fame and fortune. Neither actively sought personal recognition. But when faced with extreme adversity they were forced to make choices of character.

It’s then that their greatness expressed itself. It was then that their true selves were revealed… and the hero emerged.

Seeing President Obama under monstrous but familiar assault, I respected the power of the moment and decided to bear witness to it…

I was struck by the strength he displayed, maintaining his character in the face of hate. I wanted to communicate how I was affected by that strength and the intensity of focus… I felt like he was fighting my fight… carrying my weight. So, I wanted to give something in return. The best that I have is my art…

Artwork becomes a part of history. Because of my ability and the uniqueness of my perspective, I couldn’t wait for someone else to capture what was happening at this time. I wanted to do my part.

Ogi Gogi Bot Ogi Gogi Bot

CFM: HOW DID YOU SETTLE ON THIS DESIGN… HIS EXPRESSION… HIS POSTURE…?

GREY: I wanted to portray the inner qualities of the man. I asked myself how does his wife see him, because she married him… how does a wife want to see her husband. I tried to stay true to that.

I selected the posture of a boxer because he is currently engaged in the fight of his life. His pose is reminiscent of the fighting style of Muhammad Ali, Floyd Mayweather or someone like that.

Aim High Bot

CFM: SOME MIGHT SAY “RENEGADE” IS AN APPROPRIATE NAME FOR THE BUST SINCE PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS BROUGHT “UNWANTED” CHANGE TO AMERICA. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

GREY: I would say that change here more represents growth and progress. I don’t believe that people, in general, object to that, they just don’t want the pain often associated with it. Although I am not responsible for that moniker being placed on him, I chose it for the bust for what it could mean as a statement against the conventional thinking of the “old guard” who still believe that extreme separation between the classes still serves them.

I believe that the Obama presidency represents a paradigm shift, a “change” in perception… the effects of which will be felt beyond our lifetimes.

Read the full interview on Carbon-Fibre Media’s blog, The Ethyr.

Additional pictures of the Renegade Obama bust can be viewed on Carbon-Fibre Media’s showcase.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Grey Williamson has worked as a writer, artist and designer for almost every major comic publisher in the comic industry. He formed Carbon-Fibre Media as a home for his entertainment properties and productions.

Kilroy III makes his professional debut at Carbon-Fibre Media with his work on the Apollo, Val-Mar and Renegade busts. He has multiple projects under development that can be viewed on his blog, Kilroy’s Attic.